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Hi all,

I have been lurking for a few weeks now and have learned a lot. I am also a little more uncertain than I was when I started. Here's the deal:

We have just remodeled our home and want to add some home theater. The space has been determined by the remodel and we made some decisions early on that probably can't be changed.

We have decided to use a Sony XBR6 52" for the television and as a bow to my wife the Cambridge SW HD speakers 5.1 in our living room space (app 22' x 14').

I am stuck on which avr given what we have decided so far. Budget for the receiver is ~ $1000-1400. I have heard good things about all but want to be sure what I get is compatible with the above. I seem to come back on Yamaha 1800 or 3800, Denon 2809 or 3808, or the Onkyo 806 or 876. About the only spec I require besides compatability is 3 zones and something that handles music and theater equally well.

I also want to add a blu ray player of some sort. My son recommended the PS3 and I initially blew him off but the more I read here it seems that may be the way to go: pros and cons?

Finally, and excuse the length of this post, I have a hugh music library on a pc within iTunes. I would like to be able to access that music with this future home theater system. I've looked at Sonos and heard about Sqeezebox? but don't know about compatabilty or implementation.

I know this covers a lot of ground but I would appreciate your help on the above. I will be out of town for the next week or so and may not be able to reply but look forward to your replies.

Thanks.
 

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First of all Welcome to the Shack !

I am stuck on which avr given what we have decided so far. Budget for the receiver is ~ $1000-1400. I have heard good things about all but want to be sure what I get is compatible with the above. I seem to come back on Yamaha 1800 or 3800, Denon 2809 or 3808, or the Onkyo 806 or 876. About the only spec I require besides compatability is 3 zones and something that handles music and theater equally well.
All three receivers will do a great job of what you ask however I have not owned any recent offerings from Yamaha and none of the Denon line. I will say that the Onkyo TX SR 806 or even better the 876 would get my vote. The Onkyo lineup seems to have the best bang for buck theses days and is tough to beat. As i own the 805 I can atest to that. Its music abilities are fantastic.
I also want to add a blu ray player of some sort. My son recommended the PS3 and I initially blew him off but the more I read here it seems that may be the way to go: pros and cons?
The PS3 has alot of power and works great as a BluRay player the only issues I have with them is they get hot and need to breath so placement in a rack is not recommended. It also doesn't look much like a piece of audio gear so it can look out of place.

Finally, and excuse the length of this post, I have a hugh music library on a pc within iTunes. I would like to be able to access that music with this future home theater system. I've looked at Sonos and heard about Sqeezebox? but don't know about compatabilty or implementation.
I have a close friend who uses the Sonos system and he loves it. It works wirelessly so placement is not an issue and the remote control that comes with it is very user friendly. However the Sonos system requires that you l;eave your PC on all the time to have quick access to all the media files.
 

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I have read of some heat issues with the Onkyos. Is that still a problem? Mine would live in an enclosed entertainment cabinet with a fair amount of interior space/air.
 

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I have read of some heat issues with the Onkyos. Is that still a problem? Mine would live in an enclosed entertainment cabinet with a fair amount of interior space/air.
You can add a small fan or make an opening so the air can circulate better :yes:
 

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Yes, a fan would be a must. However the Onkyo really doesn't get hotter than any other receiver in that class so its always a good idea to give decent ventilation.
 

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The only big con with a ps3 IMO is the lack of built in Infrared remote compatability. The PS3 uses either the controller or its own remote which are bluetooth. There are a couple of 3rd part solutions out there that alow a normal IR remote (Like a Harmony) to work with it. I won't comment on the looks issue as I can't even see my PS3 from where I sit. Its a non isue to me.

I think it fits your needs very well. Its an excellent BR player. Fast load times upgradable over the internet. The controller works surprisingly well for a remote. Yes your son is probaly thinking games but YOU can think media streaming. The PS3 will stream both audio and video. I don't use mine much for that because I have a projectior but with a TV you can easily flip on the tv and use the PS3 for media streaming.

Also some recivers in the 1 K plus range now have built in media abilities. My 3808 can do internet radio as well as stream audio from a PC with WM Player 11. It can also steam from an external USB source or Ipod with a dock. The interface is a bit clunky but there is also a web interface too.

I've never used a squeezbox etc but you may want to see if the PS3 or reciver will do what you want first before you spend more $.

3 Zones? Do you have an external amp to help handel that. I don't think any recivers in that range can redirect amps to zone 2 AND 3 at the same time.
 

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Can the media streaming be done wirelessly with PS3 as I don't have a hard-wired internet connection nearby?

Yes, I will need another amp for zone 3 I just discovered, at least with the Onkyo 876.
 

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Yes, I will need another amp for zone 3 I just discovered, at least with the Onkyo 876.
All receivers in this price range are like this most dont have power to any of the zones.
 

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Hi jbold,

I had pretty much your same profile about 5 months ago. Also had questions about the Onkyo heat. I chose the Integra 7.8, MSRP is $1300. Could not be happier. Has 3 zone support, lots of features. Also check out the 7.9 (new). Not sure of the price. The difference as I'm told between Integra and Onkyo is in the selection of the components, they have finer tolerances and so the performance is closer to the actual design spec, as compared to a system built with components that have a wide tolerance of variability...it's theory but it made sense to me.

Good luck! Mark
Good luck!
 

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Can the media streaming be done wirelessly with PS3 as I don't have a hard-wired internet connection nearby?

Yes, I will need another amp for zone 3 I just discovered, at least with the Onkyo 876.
Yes. I just bought a PS3 a couple of weeks ago. It was very easy to setup the media sharing from my Vista Ultimate PC and I am able to play it on the PS3 via its Wireless card.

Kevin
 
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Question? Have far away is your pc from your HT, If you do not like the idea of PS3 streaming, which is probably the easiest bet. You could try hooking the HDMI from the computer to the reciever getting audio and video and using something like the logitech Air mouse (it works in the air) navigate in a more familiar enviroment, (and then there's Media Center but that's getting ahead of ourselves). Don't have HDMI out, it'll cost $40-ish in the form of the ATI 4830 which does 8 channel LPCM over HDMI, plus your video of course.

As for the PS3 as a Blu-ray, it is also what I use (while a gamer I am a PC gamer and have barely touched either of my consoles beyond a game or two). The PS3 does great, I really don't care about a remote the controller works for me. I have not checked out the standalone Blu-ray players recently but as far as I know (or predict) the PS3 is the only future proof player as it is the only over-powered, hard-drive enabled sold at a loss - player of the blu.

Recievers you seem to have a good handle on I like my Onkyo as well, oh and think of Integra as the Luxury version (Audi to its VW), you pay more for tighter manufacturing tolerances and luxury features, and just like an Luxury car you have to decide if its a defference you'd notice and has features you can't live without for the price tag you can stomach. But that the AV game all the manufacters have them sometimes its just tagline (Elite, Soveriegn) or its a name change (like the aforementioned Onkyo/Integra.) Americans seem to like a different name even if its the same company, as the Japanese, in Japan Acura does not exist its just the Honda NSX, or the Nissan Skyline/Infinity G35 (research also shows we like numbers instead of names, weird since I like the Japanese way but whatever).

Also if you are have problems deciding recievers, check out their online manuals, find the procedure for what you want to do with it, if its not in the manual chances are it can't be done, this helped me a lot since I have some unique questions on video processing and wanted to make sure what I needed was possible.
 
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Hi guys, i'm new here, but i have another question in regards to the Onkyo 876 which i also just bought this week. My question (and hopefully someone who owns one has the answer) is that i'm using the powered zone 2 in my bedroom with my Sony Bravia XBR and a pair of Boston Acoustic P430's that i just picked up this afternoon but when i use the receiver and switch the hdmi out to sub (which is the cable that runs to the bedroom) and set zone 2 source to dvd (which is my ps3) i get no sound!!!! i tried the speakers hooked up just to the main front channels and they work... but i've tried everything and get nothing in zone 2... HELP!!! thanks guys, Brad.
 

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...i'm using the powered zone 2 in my bedroom with my Sony Bravia XBR and a pair of Boston Acoustic P430's that i just picked up this afternoon but when i use the receiver and switch the hdmi out to sub (which is the cable that runs to the bedroom) and set zone 2 source to dvd (which is my ps3) i get no sound!!!! i tried the speakers hooked up just to the main front channels and they work... but i've tried everything and get nothing in zone 2... HELP!!! thanks guys, Brad.
Did you follow the manual instructions to hook up the zone 2??? ....My AVR has the same feature but I don't use it, but it sounds strange to me about the "HMDI out to Sub"

Hopefully somebody who's using that connection will chime in ...:yes:

EDIT: I just read the instruction on the manual (page 130) and didn't see about HDMI use, I suggest to start a new thread and describe your connection and the problem your having.
 
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hey man, thanks for the response, but i discovered the "problem" late last night... turns out that zone 2 and 3 can only play audio that is hooked up with an analog connection... what a bunch of ! I bought the 905 last year with the intention of doing audio/video in 2 rooms simultaneously... then returned it when i found out that zone 2 could only do video via a composite output at the same time as the hdmi out. So now i figured a way around that problem with the 876... but then i run into this problem with the audio. But i think i also thought of a solution to that as well... here's my plan... i'm going to hook up a pair of standard stereo cables from my lcd's audio output and route them into the receiver's tv input (analog stereo) then when i'm watching a movie (blu ray) playing a game (xbox 360 or PS3) in the bedroom i can simply (ha!) switch the hdmi output to "sub" which will allow the video source of my choice to be routed to the bedroom... where the audio via hdmi will also go... but if i turn the tv's speakers off, and switch the zone 2 to tv (still with me) i should get picture and sound (from my boston's) in the bedroom.... total pain in the but i'll let y'all know if it's worth it in the end, and i'm sure it will be. thanks again for your reply. - Brad.
 
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hey did you get the 876 yourself yet? fyi zone 2 can only support analog audio and video... just a heads up since i just hooked mine up last night. -Brad
 

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Went today and did a compare between the Yamaha V3800 and the Denon 2809. Played the sound track of Battlestar Galatica last season, as it is the most sonically challenging that I have. Then did some tracks off of an early SRV studio cut as it has some real fast and crowded passages with some highs that have given some speakers a hard time. The Denon just had a little richer (more full) sound, left the eq's flat on both and switched back and forth. The Yamaha had a more in your face mids to it. Both were great tho. I did a hard look at the Onkyo as I have an older one and have loved it but my current mounting placement would only give it about 1" height breather and I don't think a fan would do the job, also I realized as I was replacing all my equipment I would not really need the upscale features unless I was keeping my legacy stuff.
Hope this helps as I do understand how confusing it can be as I have been on the hunt for a little over 2 months now.
 
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